Daily Reflection
March 20th, 1999
Tamora Whitney
Jeremiah 11:18-20
John 7:40-53

Todayís readings are both about recognizing God and responding appropriately to God.  In the preceding passages in Jeremiah, God tells Jeremiah to remind the people that they have ignored Godís covenant and rules.  They ignore God and they ignore Godís messenger and worship false gods.  In todayís reading they want to eliminate Jeremiah who was reminder to them of their evil ways.  But God ďwho judgest righteously, who triest the heart and the mindĒ  punishes the evil doers.  In Johnís gospel there is debate over whether Jesus is the Christ.  The concern is in the letter of the prophecy.  The prophecy said that the Christ was to come from Bethlehem, but the Pharisees thought Jesus was from Galileeóso he couldnít be the Christ.  He didnít fulfill the criterion.  But of course he did.  Jeremiah also dealt with the letter of the law.  The Lord God had said in verse 4, ďObey my voice and to them, according to all which I command you; so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God.Ē  And God fulfilled his part of the bargain, but the people burned incense to Baal.  The people in Jeremiah reverted to old gods and old ways.  They had Godís covenant, but they didnít fulfill their end of the deal.  The Pharisees couldnít recognize God when he was among because they were too caught up in details and didnít know the whole story.  In both cases God was in their midst and the people could have had the benefits of God, but they chose not to obey God and didnít recognize the whole situation.

How many times do we react to things without understanding the whole situation.  Would the Pharisees have believed in Jesus if theyíd realized he was born in Bethlehem?  Or should his words have been enough, should faith have been enough?  Two weeks ago in the Sunday gospel Jesus told the Samaritan woman that He was the Christ, and she believed him.  And without questioning his birthplace.  We donít know the big picture.  We donít know all the details, or what God has in store for us.  Sometimes we react without realizing what God knows, what is truly for the best.  And often like the Pharisees we donít recognize God when He is in our midst, and we donít have faith enough.  Doesnít God tell us everyday that ultimately, everything will be all right?  And donít we everyday not have faith and disbelieve that.

Iíve taken to keeping a gratitude journal everyday.  Everyday I find something to thank God for.  Everyday I remind myself that I find God in my midst.  And everyday when I am tempted to react to a perceived negative situation, I remind myself that I do not know the big picture.  I remind myself that God is around us all the time and made a covenant to take care of those who put their faith in him.  Heís keeping his end of the bargain.  I have to try to keep mine.

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